When I was in Junior High School, Billy Graham came to Seoul, Korea. I was able to sit on a platform not far from where the speakers stood and take pictures. At the time (early 1970’s), it was the largest Billy Graham Crusade ever. Looking behind the platform there on Yoido Island there was an immense sea of people. Dr. Graham explained to this spiritually hungry audience the meaning of the gospel. He quoted John 3:16, read other Bible passages, and outlined in simple terms God’s plan of salvation. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans stood and moved forward when he gave an invitation. Countless faces were wet with tears of repentance. Perhaps heaven’s citizens stood and cheered as they watched this grand spectacle.
Nehemiah 8:7,8--Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah, who were Levites, explained the law to the people as they stood in their places. They read the book of the law of God, translating and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was read.
Around 457 B.C., the Jews were spiritually impoverished. Their ancestors stopped venerating God to worship idols. They disobeyed what Moses taught to run after their own pleasures. They lost their homeland to disease, famine, and Assyrians and Babylonians who led them as captives into exile. They experienced every disaster God warned they would suffer for disobeying Him.
On the first day of the seventh month (Tishrei) in the Hebrew calendar, Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform facing about 5000 people he led back to Israel. Along with thirteen Levites, he read from the Torah from daybreak until noon. When he opened up the Scripture, all the people stood and remained standing for hours.
The Hebrew-written Torah was unfamiliar to the Aramaic-speaking people. Furthermore, they did not own their own copies of the law so Moses’ writing was unfamiliar to them. Consequently, it was necessary to translate and explain the law. As the people listened and comprehended, they wept. The crowd was so convicted by God’s Words that Ezra and the Levites had to quiet them from grieving.
Most of America’s first leaders feared God. They established a framework for governance meant to honor Biblical principles and protect a young nation so that it might thrive. Over 200 years later, there is no shortage of Bibles, radio stations, or television channels that offer God’s teachings. It is easy to find a building designated for worship. But if a wooden platform were erected, and godly leaders were to read Scripture for half the day, how many people would show up, stand the entire time listening intently, and then weep by conviction for their ignorance and sin? How much disease, disaster, and spilling of blood does it take to get a nation’s attention? Until there is hunger for righteous explanation, there will always be an evil-ingested bloating.
For a good confession three things are necessary: an examination of conscience, sorrow, and a determination to avoid sin.—St. Alphonsus Luguori in “A Good Confession”
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)